Despite some turnover at the top of their line-up, the Eagles return an experienced group. On the singles side, Mauston brings back junior Allison Lavold, who spent most of last year at the No. 4 flight.
Fellow juniors Camille Galloway and Akasha Hill, as well as sophomore Annah Lund return after playing exclusively doubles last year. Rounding out the returnees are seniors Allison Bilski and Charis Jacob, and junior Emma Eilers, who split time between the solo and paired flights, but mainly playing doubles.
So far, Walsh said the duo of Bilski and Eilers have assumed new leadership roles.
“Bilski has been great off the court. The girls put together a group chat and she’s been taking numbers from the new girls and adding them to that,” he said. “Emma Eilers put together an apparel sheet for girls to order sweatshirts and other things, so they’ve taken on some lead roles and I think they’ve been good role models so far.”
Walsh also noted how open the returnees have been to the teams’ newcomers in junior LeAnn Vang, sophomore Virginia Walhart and freshman Brooke Braunschweig. That openness has helped foster an even greater team chemistry built from last year’s gained experiences.
Through the Eagles’ first week of practice, Walsh said he’s been impressed with the group’s hard work and willingness to cooperate with a first-year coach. The girls have also been receptive to the new safety guidelines due to the coronavirus, but Walsh noted how lucky the tennis team is being a “lower risk” sport.